Tag Archives: access to drugs

New UN Program Will Ensure Developing Nations Continue to Have Access to Drugs Effective At Treating Malaria

Earlier this week, the United Nations announced a new plan of action designed to help fight disease resistance to artemisinin, the world’s most potent treatment for malaria. Launched by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), the groups hope to better contain and prevent resistance to artemisinins, the critical component of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which are currently the most effective weapon in treating falciparum malaria.

The WHO’s announcement describes the plan as a five-step process which “aims to contain and prevent artemisinin resistance by stopping the spread of resistant parasites, increase monitoring and surveillance for artemisinin resistance, improve access to malaria diagnostic testing and rational treatment with ACTs, invest in artemisinin resistance-related research, and motivate action and mobilize resources.”

Global Health Progress is hopeful that this action plan will help to ensure that developing nations continue to have access to drugs that most effectively treat malaria. Many malaria-stricken countries lack the resources needed to keep an effective health care system running smoothly. Strong, effective health systems are vital to helping those in need of access to drugs, and health care improvements made today will strengthen the ability of countries to develop sustainable systems that can meet tomorrow’s challenges. Stopping the spread of drug-resistant strains of malaria and other diseases are essential to these goals.

Investing in local R&D capacity and national research systems is another way research-based biopharmaceutical companies help strengthen health systems. Local production can play a valuable role in building overall local capacity and enabling developing countries to increase access to essential medicines.

It is the responsibility of the entire international community to facilitate access to medicines. Success depends on all sectors working in partnership; not only to make medicines more accessible, but also to ensure continued innovation into new medicines for the treatment and prevention of all diseases.

About Global Health Progress:
Global Health Progress also supports efforts to raise awareness and mobilize resources to address health challenges in the developing world by bringing local leaders together with international health experts, policymakers, donor governments, and the private sector. www.globalhealthprogress.org;  twitter.com/globalhealthfacebook.com/pages/Global-Health-Progress/124850684219049;  linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2972068

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Global Health Progress Commends European Union and India Agreement Increasing Access to Drugs in Developing Countries

According to a Reuter’s article, the European Union (EU) and India have come to an agreement which should ease the process of exporting Indian drug manufacturers’medicines to developing countries, increasing these countries’ access to drugs.

Karel De Gucht, commissioner of the European Union (EU) has confirmed an agreement between the EU and India that will resolve some of the disputes that lead to the seizure of generic drugs in transit last year. This agreement will allow shipments of medication to pass through Europe to developing nations without being checked for anything except counterfeiting.

The new agreement will also amend custom codes allowing shipments of medications from India to reach countries located in South America via Europe. The confirmation comes amid trade talks between the EU and India.

Global Health Progress commends the agreements between the European Union and India, which will increase access to drugs, primarily generic medication, for underdeveloped countries. This process affects the affordability of generic medications to underdeveloped countries which fight the prominence of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Since the 1960s, the philanthropic efforts of research-based biopharmaceuticalcompanies have worked to get medicines to the people that need them the most. In 2005, biopharmaceutical companies responded to requests with more than $3 billion in medical products donated worldwide.

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Russia Reveals Renewed Commitment to Expand, Promote Biotechnology Sector

Global Health Progress (GHP) released a new fact sheet highlighting Russia’s commitment to expanding and promoting its biotechnology sector. Although the biopharmaceutical sector in Russia is less developed than other markets, the sector is making progress by implementing public policies that support pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) for life-changing treatments, contribute high-quality, high wage jobs to the region and increase the number of clinical trials offered to the population to improve access to drugs and help reduce the overall burden of disease.

Currently, Russia accounts for approximately 0.5% of the world biotechnology market, two-thirds of which are biopharmaceuticals. In 2010, the value of the biopharmaceutical market in Russia was estimated to be approximately US $17.2 billion, compared with US $10.4 billion in 2006. According to analysts, the Russian market is predicted to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% over the next few years and approximately 53% of the biopharmaceuticals market in Russia is comprised of innovative medicines.

As part of a national 10-year plan to promote biotechnology, the government is enacting policies to strengthen Russia’s pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) areas that have been historically strong. For example, special economic zones will focus on attracting investors to commercialize biotechnology and related innovations. Additionally, the Russian government is investing in “bioparks,” R&D clusters of biotechnology and related sectors.

Russia is well-known for its highly skilled scientific workforce and the biopharmaceutical sector has emerged as an important source of high-quality, highly skilled jobs. As the presence of biopharmaceutical companies increases, so does the pool of highly skilled doctors, scientists and researchers. According to Burrill & Company, the biopharmaceutical sector currently employs approximately 12,000 people with the average salary for a PhD scientist in Russia approximately US $1,800.

Currently, Russia ranks 12 out of 25 in terms of active clinical trials with 1,084 sites with an average relative annual growth rate of 33%. However, as of February 2010, there were 304 medicines in development in Russia, making the country one of the fastest annual growth rates. The growth in share of global clinical trials can bring health benefits, including the diffusion of medical knowledge and effective medical practice, greater patient access to high quality care and improve access to drugs. Clinical trials can also help reduce the overall burden of disease on the Russian population.

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Global Health Progress Epitomizes Clinton, Gates’ Call for ‘Efficiency Savings’ In Regards to HIV/AIDS Prevention Treatments, Services

During a recent international conference in Vienna for 20,000 AIDS scientists, health workers and activists, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates urged AIDS activists to try to generate the most value possible out of funds set aside for HIV/AIDS prevention services and treatments, including securing access to drugs. Reuters Health and Science Correspondent Kate Kelland highlighted the leaders’ remarks in a recent article:

“The world is awash in troubles. It is easy to rail at a government and say … give us more money. But we also have to change the way we do what we do,” Clinton told the conference. “If we’re going to make this case, they (donor governments) have to believe that we are doing our job faster, better and cheaper. Then we have the moral standing to go ask people to give us more money.” Gates, a philanthropist whose Gates Foundation spends a large portion of its $34 billion fund on fighting AIDS, said efficiency was vital to be able to scale up access to AIDS drugs for the 15 million people who need them, “We can’t keep spending AIDS resources in exactly the same way we do today,” he said. “As we … advocate for more funding, we also need to make sure we’re getting the most benefit from each dollar of AIDS funding and every ounce of effort.”

In keeping with this message, Global Health Progress’ recent 3rd Annual African Health Delegation let African officials share experiences, expertise and insights about how they efficiently employ available resources when battling diseases in Africa. These conferences are just one way GHP helps advocacy groups meet Clinton and Gates’ plea for activists to employ “efficiency saving” tactics when delivering treatments and securing access to drugs for countries “hardest hit and at highest risk” by HIV/AIDs and other diseases.

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